Obama-- That Gun Grabber
|Aldo Moro before he was murdered|
Did someone say "reality?" This is reality: since 1968 more Americans have died from gunfire than died in all the wars of this country's history. And that's not a conspiracy theory or any kind of theory.
Who remembers Aldo Moro. He was twice the Prime Minister of Italy and in 1978 he was kidnapped and then murdered by the Red Brigades-- yes, there was once a militant, violent, armed, revolutionary movement. Back then the NRA was a big proponent of gun control and background checks and, especially of keeping weapons out of the hands of radicals (and particularly African American radicals). Anyway, last Monday Prospero Gallinari, the brigatista convicted-- probably wrongly-- of assassinating Moro, had a heart attack and died. During the desperate hunt for Moro-- the Red Brigades held him for 2 months before shooting him-- some in the security apparatus suggested torturing a brigatista they had in custody. The general in charge said "Italy can survive the loss of Aldo Moro. It would not survive the introduction of torture." Those crazy Italians, right? Although it wasn't an Italian general who said "Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]... I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause… for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.” That was General George Washington (September 14, 1775) beginning an American military tradition that we do not torture, a tradition ended by George W. Bush. Sorry for the tangent. Let's get back to the main point here: Rush Limbaugh, Rep. John Lewis and the NRA.
Over a decade before the Red Brigades kidnapped and murdered Aldo Moro, Martin Luther King, Jr. was leading a movement of nonviolence to complete the freeing of African American slaves in the Deep South. John Lewis was one of his disciples and was severely beaten by uniformed, state-sanctioned Alabama fascists. The other day Rush Limbaugh implied Lewis should have had a gun. "If a lot of African-Americans back in the '60s had guns and the legal right to use them for self-defense, you think they would have needed Selma?... If John Lewis, who says he was beat upside the head, if John Lewis had had a gun, would he have been beat upside the head on the bridge?"
Rep. Lewis, who many people consider the conscience of the Congress doesn't agree with Limbaugh's vision. This is the press release his office sent out after Limbaugh's show:
"Our goal in the Civil Rights Movement was not to injure or destroy but to build a sense of community, to reconcile people to the true oneness of all humanity," said Rep. John Lewis. "African Americans in the 60s could have chosen to arm themselves, but we made a conscious decision not to. We were convinced that peace could not be achieved through violence. Violence begets violence, and we believed the only way to achieve peaceful ends was through peaceful means. We took a stand against an unjust system, and we decided to use this faith as our shield and the power of compassion as our defense.
"And that is why this nation celebrates the genius and the elegance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s work and philosophy. Through the power of non-violent action, Dr. King accomplished something that no movement, no action of government, no war, no legislation, or strategy of politics had ever achieved in this nation's history. It was non-violence that not only brought an end to legalized segregation and racial discrimination, but Dr. King's peaceful work changed the hearts of millions of Americans who stood up for justice and rejected the injury of violence forever."
WHAT HAPPENED IN SELMA ALABAMA?
On March 7, 1965, 600 peaceful nonviolent Civil Rights workers attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate the need for voting rights in Alabama. The march was led by John Lewis and Hosea Williams. They were met on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by Alabama state troopers who beat the unarmed marchers. Lewis suffered a concussion on the bridge. A few days after the march President Lyndon Johnson introduced a bill to the Congress which became the Voting Rights Act of 1965, described as one of the most effective pieces of legislation Congress has issued in the past 50 years. An important section of the Voting Rights Act is currently in jeopardy and will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in February.
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